The town of Aegina was the first capital of the Modern Greek state after the Greek Revolution. It is considered the jewel of the Saronic Gulf by its numerous local and foreign fans. It is also known for its unique peanut variety which is cultivated in its territory and carries its name, for the ancient Temple of Athena Aphaia, whose location forms an equilateral triangle with the locations of the Temple of the Parthenon in Athens and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, but also for the Monastery of Saint Nektarios, a place of pilgrimage for thousands of Orthodox Christians each year.
Our one day excursion starts from the port of Piraeus, where we board the ferry to the island of Aegina. The ship departs at 8:20 a.m. and after a short and pleasant voyage we arrive at the port of Aegina at 09:40 a.m.
We start the ride from the harbor, turning right along the beach with direction to Marathon and then we follow the steep asphalt road for about 5 km towards Pahia Rahi. We cross Tzikides village, where we admire the beautiful houses and enjoy the excellent views: Angistri, Salamis, Leoussi islets, Moni Islet and the peninsula of Methana in the distance. On getting to Pahia Rahi, we turn left towards Lazarides, where shortly before entering the village we leave the asphalt road and enter a forest road which runs through a pine forest. After approximately 4 km, we find the chapel of St. Anargyri where we stop for pictures and a short rest. Next, we descend for another 3 km and take the ring road of the island with direction to Agia Marina. We cycle through the village and continue towards the archaeological site of Aphaia. The road is steep and passes through a pine forest. We arrive at the entrance of the Temple of Aphaia at about 12:40. We spare about 1 hour and 20 minutes to visit the archaeological site and the museum. In the place, there is also a tourist kiosk with snacks, ice creams, soft drinks etc.
Leaving Aphaia, we continue our journey towards the Monastery of Saint Nektarios. The road is asphalt and downhill up to Mesagro where it passes through a pine forest. At the point of the Monastery, we turn right and cycle up to the hill of Paleochora. This is the old town of Aegina whose main characteristic was the 365 churches, one for every day of the year. Of the 365 churches only 38 have survived, but some are in very good condition and can be visited. In Paleochora we stop for a few minutes and follow a short hiking trail of about 200 meters to visit the churches and take photographs. Next, we depart towards Souvala and then Aegina through the coastal road. We cycle past the old dock of the island and the house where Nikos Kazantzakis lived during the German occupation of Greece.
If the weather permits it, we stop for about two hours so as to swim and relax on a beach with natural shade and deck chairs where we can also taste ouzo and snacks. On the beach, there is a canteen with food for anyone who wishes to eat. After this two-hour break, we depart towards the city of Aegina. We cycle past the lighthouse and a villa which looks like a medieval tower arriving in Aegina at about 17:00 p.m. A break follows with leisure time till 17:50 p.m. and then we board the ship which will bring us back to the port of Piraeus, where we arrive at around 19:45 p.m.